I am not MommaStrong.
I work for MommaStrong.
The statement above might look like a simple shift in perspective, but the truth is that it took a long long long time to get here. In fact, I read recently that it takes on average of ten years to get to the one year that changes your life. This couldn’t be more true for me. And I have experienced that the start of that life-changing year usually begins with a painful sledgehammer to all the unmanageable bits of your seemingly secure life.
I learned so many profound things over the last year thanks to that sledgehammer, but I’m here today to quickly suggest that the most profound thing was (and will always be) this: The quality of my life is directly connected to my willingness to connect, be transparent, receive, and give of myself to a safe and steady crew of other people.
For lots of reasons personal to me, this was not a simple task. Letting down my guard, having discernment about safe/unsafe people, letting safe people in, trusting those people, and surrendering my secrets/failures to them took work that felt much like that scene from Braveheart when Mel Gibson gets pulled end to end. I know that is a gruesome visual, but, fucking hell, that’s how it felt.
The result, though, has been exactly what Mel’s character yells at the top of his lungs as his limbs go buh bye: FREEEEEEEEEDOM.
I know today that there is not a single healthy enterprise in which the CEO or founder has ever done it alone. And, yet, here in our culture, we love to applaud the individual hero. We love to raise up on a pedestal the single person who defied the odds. We love to listen to podcasts of independent people who made it through the worst odds and then came out on the other end. We “like” and “love” every post we see about our solo friend who changed her life and found success. But, the reality is that the individual hero simply does not exist. Not in my view. Not in my experience.
We need each other to do the hard stuff of life. This thought causes me to drift back to my experience of early motherhood and how alone I was, how alone I felt, and how alone I thought I had to be. If I could go back today and do it over, I’d surround myself with a safe/steady crew and I’d quite literally force myself to receive and give to that ocean of necessary camaraderie every single day. I believe that this is what motherhood is missing and I believe that we could usher in a palpable change to the world if women did not get lost in the isolation of raising children.
That might sound dramatic, but I’m claiming my drama today. If you consider the connection of so many pathologies with attachment disorders in infancy, than you’ll join me in that claim. We tend to blame the mom and her own “stuff” that prevents a secure attachment to the infant. But, couldn’t it be true that it is not her fault at all? Couldn’t it be true that she simply does not have what she needs? Couldn’t it be true that her ability to attach securely to her child is directly and irrevocably linked to her sense of secure attachment to her environment and to her own spirit? We as women go through a birth of own when we give birth, and we need equal amounts of connection and response to our own basic needs in order to develop and progress with health.
Fortunately for me and for MommaStrong, the mission of this company is forever anchored to this truth. As much as it is about strength, it’s really about connection and about fiercely standing up for the needs of the female experience. As I grow into my role as founder (and mad scientist), I can tell you that by surrounding myself with a safe/stable team here in this company, I have the incredible privilege of keeping our mission in tact and seeing it flourish.
We are a crew of women who are hell bent on nurturing the mission that kept this sinking ship going for so many years. Now, it gets to float and take charge and do big things. And I could not have done it by myself. I could have only destroyed that mission.
So, when you sign up for MommaStrong, or log in for your workouts, or refer your friends, you aren’t just doing something healthy and “fitnessy.” You are joining a movement of fellow women who are taking charge of a new way of being a woman who happens to be a mom. You are helping serve other women. You are helping us do our thing to redefine the qualifications of a woman who is truly strong. You are being willing to believe that it is possible to make the world better, one woman and one securely attached child at a time.
I believe this. Or else I wouldn’t still be here. And now I have a team of inspiring women who believe the same thing. Please join me over social media this week as we introduce you to the MommaStrong team. And please join me as I bend in respect and love for their willingness to forgive, fuel, and nurture my recovery in motherhood.